Crim has sentence reduced
A SERIAL criminal could walk free almost 18 months earlier than expected after his sentence was appealed in Warwick's District Court yesterday.
In the Warwick Magistrates Court in October Timothy Andrew Butler, 20, was sentenced to 30 months jail for offences committed on September 11 last year.
The offences included dangerous driving, stealing and entering a dwelling, and were committed just two months after he was released from jail on parole for several similar offences.
The 30 month sentence was treated as cumulative - which meant it would start after his previous sentence finished in March this year and would see Butler behind bars until September 2014 if the full sentence was served. His parole date was January 2013.
The defence argued the sentence should be concurrent - or the length of the longest sentence served from the date it was handed down.
District Court Judge Marshall Irwin said he conceded Magistrate Anne Thacker, who handed down the original sentence, had misunderstood Butler's role in the theft.
Judge Irwin said it was actually Butler's co-accused who had walked into a local bottle shop, asked for a carton and ran off once it was handed to him - not Butler as believed by Magistrate Thacker.
Butler was driving the get-away vehicle. The car was later seen in a nearby car park and police were called to the scene.
When Butler saw police, he drove off admitting he veered onto the wrong side of the road in front of a car and motorcycle.
Judge Irwin quoted Butler as saying, "I was trying to drive crazy so the police would stop chasing me".
Around the same time, Butler and his co-accused entered a garage, jacked up a sedan and took off the tyres which were later sold by the co-accused.
Judge Irwin read out Butler's lengthy criminal history which started at age 12 and saw him spend time in juvenile detention.
Butler's sentence was changed to be served concurrently giving him
the possibility of parole on June 10 this year and a full release date in April next year.